MMA Assistant Dean Attends ISACS New Leaders Institute

MMA Assistant Dean Attends ISACS New Leaders Institute

Missouri Military Academy’s Elizabeth “Ranae” Clement, assistant dean for instruction and learning, attended the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) New Leaders Institute virtual training July 19-20. Clement joined MMA as an English instructor in the fall of 2022 and assumed her new leadership duties at the end of May.

The training encouraged active participation with opportunities for small-group conversations, planning, processing, problem solving and sharing with other leaders. It was hosted by Jill Webb, director of learning for ISACS, and Jacob Isaac, director of technology and client services.

While at the training, Clement had the opportunity to attend five learning sessions — Facilitate Human-Centered Meetings, presented by Eric Hudson; Think in Systems, presented by Eric Hudson; Gotcha: Navigating the DEIB Minefield in an Age of Polarization, presented by Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise; Executive Presence: Deconstructing “Gravitas,” presented by Brooke Vuckovic; and Just the Two of Us: Maximizing the One-on-One Conversation, presented by Ken Rogers.

During the sessions, various crucial topics were covered to enhance leadership skills and foster organizational growth. Participants delved into the concept of psychological safety within team meetings, exploring techniques to craft meetings that encourage sharing perspectives and mutual learning. Another significant subject was systems thinking, facilitated through systems mapping. This strategic approach enables leaders to gain insights into the larger systems they operate within, providing the tools to drive improvements and transformations.

The sessions also provided valuable insights into navigating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within educational settings. School leaders were equipped with strategies to initiate positive change and cultivate a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding inclusion and belonging. Deconstructing executive presence was also addressed, dissecting its various components and highlighting its role in enhancing one's ability to provide constructive feedback. Lastly, the significance of one-on-one conversations was emphasized, underscoring the power of skills such as active listening, observation, self-awareness, effective questioning, and even moments of silence. These skills were shown to be instrumental in building relationships, surfacing issues, and creating the supportive environment necessary for resolution and personal and collective growth.

ISACS aims to create and protect a trusting community where leaders feel safe sharing with each other. Clements looks forward to sharing the lessons of the institute with the MMA faculty.

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